Multitasking

Hey, I’ve been thinking about something…

Drivers around the world are really amazing.  Driving a vehicle is a talent, a skill, many people take for granted.

There are many skills that need to be mastered in order to be a good driver.  Here is my list of top skills, understand, I do not drive at all.

  • Judging distances from the car in front
  • Watching for hazards: the pothole (Sudbury only), the deer, the kid on skateboard
  • Maintaining right speeds in right zones
  • Spotting road signs: speed limits, school zones, Tim Hortons Drive Thru, the blind guy crossing the street then veering into traffic
  • Finding the classic rock station on the radio
  • Constantly looking at two or three mirrors, while looking straight ahead
  • Being calm and courteous, avoid road rage
  • Hearing, or seeing, flashing lights from ambulances rushing to the hospital, cops trying to pull you over
  • Determining right of way
  • Using both hands (to steer) and feet (accelerate or brake) at the same time

There are many other skills that are needed, I am not a driver, I don’t know.

As you can see, Vision plays a very important part of driving!  One website that I found said that Hearing is the most important sense needed to drive.  Obviously this is not correct, otherwise many of my Deaf driver friends would not be driving!  Vision is the most important sense needed when driving!

I want to draw your attention to the last point I made above, Using hands and feet at the same time.

When you are reading a book, what are your feed doing?  Nothing.  When cooking, your hands are busy chopping potatoes while your feet are supporting your body weight.  If you need to bend over to pick up the tater that rolled off the counter, your feet will find balance point so that you can bend down to pick it up. If you are chatting via Skype with your friends, your hands might be moving if you are Deaf, or holding the device, or both; but are your feet doing anything?  No, they are just hanging around.

If you are driving a car; your hands are steering, your eyes are judging distances, your brain is processing all visual input, your feet are working the pedals.

Can you see how this is an incredible skill?

It takes practice and practice to do all this with ease and confidence!

Now, I am finally getting to the point of this blog.

Because Deaf-Blind, Blind and Partially Sighted people do not drive, is multitasking more diminished or harder to learn?

I find this question interesting because people with vision impairments may lack these mastered skills.  Is there scientific research on this topic?  I’d like to read about that!

Oh, I found something affects everyone, whether one is Deaf-Blind, using a walker or wheelchair, or simply walking.  Everyone who goes to a mall during the weekend is doing a lot of multitasking!

  • using your feet to walk from Walmart to Best Buy
  • looking for sales at Uniqlo
  • judging personal space while waiting in line at A&W
  • dodging the toddler running amok clutching a new, probably unpaid for, Barbie
  • listening, if you are non-Deaf, to friends on your phone
  • rationalizing about buying a new shirt from H&M rather than at Hudson Bay
  • passing old people in walkers while being overtaken by older people in scooters
  • wondering if you have enough money to get …

Oh never mind!  You do understand that walking in the mall is about the same as driving a car.  What do you think?

This was supposed to be a short blog, but 90 minute later, I have only done a blog, I need to email some people, make a phone call (using relay), read some files to secure funding for intervenors, pop in a couple of loads of laundry, have lunch, pick up… oh damnit, run-on sentence alert!

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Thank you!

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